Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

ICANN Director Seeks Court Order to Review Records

Internet Regulatory Agency Obstructs Board Access

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Los Angeles - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today filed a motion with the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of ICANN Director Karl Auerbach requesting the court grant him immediate access to corporate records that ICANN management has denied him for one-and-a-half years.

Auerbach, the North American Elected Director of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) began asking for corporate records in November 2000, shortly after he was elected to the Board. After nine months delay, ICANN management granted Auerbach conditional access to corporate records if he signed a "policy"—which had not been ratified by the Board of Directors—that placed his ability to access and copy the records at the discretion of ICANN management.

"I spent more than a year trying to work this out informally," noted Auerbach. "It's my right to gain access to the records I need to discharge my duties on the ICANN Board effectively."

"If ICANN management is concerned that certain information not be publicized, it must specifically identify those documents and demonstrate good reason for its concerns," explained Auerbach's lead attorney James Tyre. "ICANN cannot simply make broad, nonspecific claims of 'privacy, privilege and confidentiality' to prevent Board member access or copying of basic corporate documents."

"As even Mr. Lynn admits, ICANN requires dramatic reform," noted EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "The Internet community relies on ICANN's Board members, especially its elected ones, to help find out what has gone wrong and evaluate the proposed solutions. Without access to the basic information about how ICANN has been run so far, Mr. Auerbach cannot help formulate the next incarnation of ICANN to fix the problems of the past."


For documents related to the Auerbach v ICANN case:

For this release:

ICANN Articles of Incorporation:

ICANN Bylaws:

About EFF:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties organization working to protect rights in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and challenges industry and government to support free expression and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported organization and maintains one of the most-linked-to websites in the world at http://www.eff.org/


Cindy Cohn
Legal Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation
+1 415 436-9333 x108 (office), +1 415 823-2148 (cell)

James S. Tyre
Law Offices of James Tyre
+1 310 839-4114


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